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Maria Popova
Noodle Expert Member

December 18, 2019

"I’d rather be someone’s shot of whiskey than everyone’s cup of tea."

Do your soul a favor and read Dani Shapiro’s magnificent, breathtakingly candid Elle Magazine essay on the titillation of haters and breaking the trance of people-pleasing. A taste:

A friend recently posted this on Instagram: I’d rather be someone’s shot of whiskey than everyone’s cup of tea. I spent a whole lot of energy trying to be everybody’s cup of tea and a) it wasn’t fun, and b) it didn’t work. I’d wager that we all do this at some point—contort ourselves into people-pleasing pretzels—and I’d also wager that the roots of this often can be found somewhere in our early lives. Who was it that first made us believe something was wrong with us, that something needed fixing? … Those injuries, small or large, are what form our early sense of ourselves. And a sense of our own value is the only way we can parse criticism and rejection—take what’s useful and shrug off the rest.

Shapiro is one of the most wholehearted and beautiful writers of our time, full of tremendous wisdom on vulnerability and the pleasures and perils of the creative life.

Also see Anne Lamott’s definitive manifesto for dealing with haters.

More than a century and a half earlier, Kierkegaard considered [the psychology of why haters hate][4].